2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Leftfield are now remembered for their track - "Phat Planet" which featured in the popular horses and waves Guiness advert but there is much more to them than that. Being the pioneers of progressive house music, Leftfield opened the door which allowed countless other artists (Faithless, Basement Jaxx, BT etc.) to enter and help re-invent the whole genre of house music. Combining electronica with soul, ambient, dub, reggae and numerous other genres, they produced intelligent dance music which completley blew away the rest of the genre.
After years of legal hassles over the Leftfield name, Paul Daley and Neil Barnes created their own record label(Hard Hands) and were finally able to release their debut album "Leftism" in 1995. A few of the singles were released in the years prior to the albums release with "Open Up" featuring John Lydon(Rotten) being the most successful. The follow up album "Rhythm and Stealth" which followed the path of trip-hop was then released four years later. In 2002 after only two albums, Leftfield decided to split to follow solo careers.
"Leftism" is one of the first electronica records that I purchased and still remains my favourite. Infact, alongside "Dark Side Of The Moon" it was probably one of the first cds that made me realise how magical and innovative music can be. In my early teens I used to get drunk and when I got home, put this album on and lie dazed in my bed into the late hours of the night letting the music take me away into a dream world. The album itself is very sensual and hypnotic throughout which can be seen with tracks such as "Release the Pressure" and "Original". In conjunction, tracks such as "Black Flute" will crumble your speakers with it's pounding bass. Brilliantly consistant throughout, the music is intensley satisfying and fails to ever become tiring or repetitive.
"Leftism" sends you to places the way music is meant to. The weaving rhythms and sublime melodies create a near perfect electronic album and one of, if not the definitive album of the dance genre.
The album is far better listened to as a whole but "Open Up" and "Afro-Left" shine through.
A must-have album for anyone interested in innovative, sensual and deeply affecting music.